Arrivals & Departures Weekly Travel News & Views July 2 2034

WASHINGTON,DC - JUNE 24: A wax replica of the Lincoln Memorial statue melts during a heat wave in Washington, DC, on June 24, 2024. The statue is a part of the The Wax Monument Series by Virginiabased artist Sandy Williams IV. (Photo by Allison Robbert/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Getting out and about, Travel Editor Stephen Scourfield weathers another week in Travel


I dunno. You can pick your trip but you can’t pick the weather. Colleague Leyanne Baillie is in a “not-so-sunny” Lake Garda in Italy, but in Washington DC in the US, a wax statue of Abraham Lincoln has melted in the brutal heat, which North India has also been experiencing.

But Tuesday on Rottnest Island was perfect. Mogens Johansen and I were there with 29 readers as part of our A Nice Day Out series. We partnered with Journey Beyond to travel on the Rottnest Express ferry from Fremantle’s B Shed, have lunch at Pinky’s Bar and Restaurant, and to have our own little bus for a full tour of the island before returning to Fremantle. Our thanks to all our partners for helping put the day together. Oh, and thanks to the weather gods for a cool, sunny, spectacular day.


We were up in Perth Hills filming a Channel 7 TV show segment on Wednesday — and happily dodging the showers. The jarrah forest was glistening, the granite boulders were wet and matt, then sparkling in the breakthrough sun. My colleague, travel and fashion writer Megan French, was passing on tips for making a really short trip (one night away) really zing. First, don’t go too far and make it a slog. Two, take the backroads and ignore the highways the navigation apps tend to favour. Three, don’t under-pack — for one night you don’t need one-tenth of a 10-night trip. (Megan is a regular presenter on The Pod Well Travelled. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.) Accommodation often has a minimum two-night stay, so my advice for getting the most out of one night away, for those who are really time-poor, is to book the two nights, stay as long as you want on Sunday, drive back in the evening, then go to work on Monday.


I’m rather intrigued by Kalamunda’s Fairy Door Trail. There are more than 20 small (magical) doors through the town centre and Stirk Park (with its adventure playground). What good, free family fun. There’s a fairy map for the hunt at the Perth Hills Kalamunda Visitor Centre, next to the Kalamunda Library.


Collette touring company has a brilliant new Canadian Rockies and Alaska’s Inside Passage package, which includes a trip on the Rocky Mountaineer and a Holland America cruise. This new tour is now available with flights and transfers included from Australia — and the whole from Perth is from $15,599 per person, twin share. There are 17 departures available from May-September 2025, and more than half the tours are guaranteed to depart. Dan Sullivan, executive chairman of Collette, a great family-owned and run company, is so enthusiastic about the new tour, he rang me from his seat in an aircraft just about to leave New York to tell me about it. I could hear the cabin crew busy in the background. Dan says: “It is high-quality and space will be limited.” The 15-day package includes time at Boundary Ranch, Lake Louise, Peyto Lake, Banff, a trip on the Rocky Mountaineer, Vancouver, Kamloops, Grouse Mountain, and a seven-night Holland America Alaska’s Inside Passage cruise. Call 1300 792 196 or book through a travel agent. More information at .


Permits for the Overland Track in Tasmania are released on July 2. Just 34 permits a day are available for self-guided hikers — and last year, they sold out very quickly. It’s a different case for companies doing guided walks on the track, as they get their own allocation. The track-walking season begins in September.


We recently reported on Silversea’s new ship Silver Ray, and reader Bill Backshaw immediately reacted: “I was pleased to see that at last a journalist/media person has got the correct definition of GRT.”

As I wrote: “Now, some maths ... GRT stands for ‘gross register tonnage’, which represents the total internal volume of a ship. Both Silver Nova and Silver Ray have a ‘space-to-guest’ ratio of 75 GRT per traveller, which is high.”

Bill said: “So many state it as the weight of the vessel. Over an almost 50-year marine career as ship’s chief engineer, marine surveyor (American Bureau of Shipping) and owners’ representative for new builds, I have done a lot of tonnage surveys and always get peed off when GRT is referred to as weight. Always love reading Travel in The West and Sunday Times. Cheers.”


Reader Judy Jackson says she was delighted to see in a recent edition of Saturday Travel two destinations she will be visiting in the next few weeks. Judy says: “The first was the article on Split and after reading it, I changed my itinerary from travelling to Hvar to visiting Stari Grad instead, and I have also booked a meal at the restaurant that Mogens Johansen recommended. The article gave us many tips, which helps to make the most of your time at these destinations. I am also walking part of the Portuguese Camino and will do a detour to Braga, having heard about the Bom Jesus cathedral. So now I know so much more about this town from your story Beautiful Braga Flies Under The Radar.”


Judy helpfully adds: “Another town that flies under the radar but well worth visiting is Burgos in Northern Spain. We have been visiting this town every year in July for the past 12 years, delighting in the concerts for the International Music Festival, the International Folk Dancing Festival as well as the week-long religious festival at the end of June. Apart from one of the most beautiful 800-year-old cathedrals, the town has also a world-renowned museum dedicated to human evolution, benefiting from the display of extraordinary artefacts discovered while excavating a nearby archaeological site at Atapuerca. Evidence of the first human skull discovered in Europe placed this site on the world map.”


Reader Brian McGuinness reckons Resolv laundry sheets from Woolworths could be handy in accommodation with limited laundry facilities. Sheets can be halved for washing in basins. A Resolv dissolvable laundry sheets “Fresh Ocean 30 Pack” is $13.